13 October 2005

Character development

Character development

Aaron Case: Age 50+. Widowed. No Children. Hence his fascination with genealogy as he will be the last of his line. No close relatives, though there are cousins.
Occupation: Genealogist/Historian
Grew up at the tale end of the Hippie age. Into drugs, Hari Krishna, Jesus People, Buddhism, Taoism, and Kabala. Considered himself a “seeker of truth.” Finally settled into a fairly tame search for family mysteries. He is in Warren compiling oral histories at the Memorial Home. Lives in Ft. Wayne and uses the Allen County Public Library for research. Finds the location to be at Prospect Cemetery? (Pretty exposed there. Maybe I’ll just re-arrange the geography a bit.) If he goes to the hospital in Bluffton is that too far or would they take him up to Ft. Wayne? I think the latter. Let’s stay out of most of the really small towns. Focus on the city.
Aaron goes out to Unitarian Church where he professes to be a born-again pagan. Also goes to the Lions Club (other frat org?). Plays poker with a group at a friend’s house. He’s also interested in gadgets and always has a new computer or camera or cell phone to show off.

Polyhymnia Stamos (Pol): Age 40+. Single. No Children. No close relatives other than an “uncle” that shows up occasionally.
Occupation: City manager, looking to move up in politics. Standing for election to Governorship.
She’s an alien. She is fully in human form, however, and communicates with her base only when in direct contact with another alien or when they send a contact to a rendezvous point. The rule of the race is no use of technology that is beyond their human counterparts. She is here specifically to address environmental concerns along Lake Michigan. It is a part of awakening the personality of the earth. She is focused on healing a wound. She is, in that way, a physician. Her means of working, however, is through the channels that are in place in human society. Humanity, to her, is a symbiant life form with the earth. The idea of man leaving the planet and flying to other worlds is ridiculous to her as humanity is part of what makes up the character of the earth, and is not an independent creature.

Jack Diggory: Age nearly 70. Aaron’s friend and mentor with whom he plays poker. Jack has children and grandchildren and his wife is a busybody who is always trying to fix Aaron up with someone.
Jack retired from teaching but is active in the community. He is a mentor to Aaron in many ways including being a sounding board for his career. Turns out they knew each other “in the old days” when Aaron was a hippy teen and Jack was his radical history teacher.

Uncle Alex: Age ancient, but doesn’t show it. Pol’s alien “Uncle” who shows up to bring messages to her and to run communications to base so that Pol doesn’t have to risk discovery in her high profile position.
Alex is like an alien chief retired who is trying to keep Pol on the straight and narrow. Pol tends to want to intervene more directly and believes that it is time for people to know their gardners. Alex says that plants never have an awareness of who weeds and waters them. She should leave the grand plan to the architects.

Norma Parsons: Age 89. The first person that we hear Aaron interviewing at the home. She tells him to interview Mad Aunt Hattie. We may or may not hear from her again after that.

Mad Aunt Hattie: Age 97. She tells Aaron the story of her disappearing boyfriend and how she came to be called “Mad.” She tells a wild tale of aliens among us, finally pointing at one of the nurses and telling Aaron that she is one of them. Something in her story, the details of the location and the date that it happened, spark Aaron to investigate her story more thoroughly. He continues to return to her periodically to listen to her “madness” some more, comparing it gradually to his own encroaching opinion that there are aliens among us. I need historical information surrounding the beginning of WWI to set the context for her story. What was our initial involvement and how was it announced to people that we were at war?

Nina Patterson: Age 28. Pol’s administrative assistant/chief of staff. She is thoroughly human and dedicated to Pol with a passion that overrides everything else. She is at first skeptical and at times openly hostile to Aaron. Occasionally she feeds him misinformation to attempt to discredit him. It is one of these pieces of misinformation that brings Aaron into his second accidental encounter, leading to his being taken to base. Nina may be the one who ends up engineering the exposure. Who better than a fiery zealot to feel betrayed when she finds out what is really going on? This surprises me. She will play Judas to Aaron’s John.

Now I need to revisit the Chapter Outline. There is new information here that will help me to flesh out some of the details and plot twists. I’m still expecting that Pol and Aaron will fall in love. That’s going to set up the motivation for Pol to help Aaron escape from Base and return to earth. There is also the point here that Nina will attempt the exposure of Pol much earlier. Aaron’s phone photos will have a different meaning when he shows them at the end of the book.

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